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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got back last week from a fantastic ED experience. Here's my trip log (pictures to follow as soon as I download them from my camera).

Day 0 (Thu, 5/27) Late afternoon arrival in Munich
Direct flight on Lufthansa from SFO to MUC. Walked out of terminal 2 to catch the Lufthansa airport bus. There are several bus stops, and had to find the one used by the airport bus. The bus finally came and after a 40-minute ride, arrived at the first stop, the U6 Nordfriedhof station. Walked 2 blocks to the Munich Marriott. Checked in, then hopped on the U6 to tour Marienplatz.

Day 1 (Fri, 5/28) Delivery day, and drive to Lugano, CH
The day was cloudy and drizzly, in the 50s. Took the U6 from Nordfriedhof station. The delivery center is three stops away and a short walk from the U6 Freimann station, directly west of the station. Arrived at the delivery center around 8:00am. The BMW complex is huge. Look for the BMW flags at the entrance on Volckerstrasse to be buzzed in.

Mr. Ernest Fortune took my passport, and I bought wheel locks (EUR22) from the small store. For those with Nav, the Europe DVD at the delivery center costs EUR231, slightly more than the USD188 that I paid (assuming a USD1.00=EUR1.2 exchange rate). After waiting in the "bistro" for about 45 minutes, Mr. Fortune went over the registration, insurance and roadside assistance paperwork. The car documentation is in a small folder that I kept with me at all times (in a camera bag), and never left unattended in the car.

Then we went to see the car in the delivery bay. Reviewed the car's features, and spent a lot of time working on the Nav. Wished I got myrtle wood trim (rather than titanium trim), but was glad to get Michelin Pilots. Left the delivery center around 9:30, with 2 miles on the odometer.

Returned to the Marriott to relax, retrieve luggage and check-out. Took highway A9 (on/off ramp is a couple of blocks from the Marriott) to EH Harms. I planned to drop-off the car the following Saturday, so I signed the paperwork and left one master key with them. I followed the Nav and it took almost an hour driving through city streets to get to A96. It would've been easier to look at the map, and get back on the A9, to A99, then A96.

Bought a vignette at the Austrian border (EUR7.60 valid for 10 days). At the Swiss border, the export license plates attracted interest and additional questions (keep your passport and car documentation handy when going in and out of CH). Also, bought a Swiss vignette (EUR38 valid for the year). Stopped in Buchs, CH for a late lunch and get Swiss Francs from an ATM. Arrived at the hotel (Villa Principe Leopoldo) around 5:00pm.

Ending miles = 291.

Day 2 (Sat, 5/29) Day trip to Bellagio, IT
Finally, the start of top-down driving :) . First gas fill-up in Coldrerio, CH (47.3 liters, CHF77.10). Went through the Italian border crossing in Como. Border guard probably couldn't figure out the "odd" license plate. His supervisor came over, spoke briefly to him, handed back our documents, and sent us on our way.

Drove to Bellagio via SP583, and spent a couple of hours in town. Took the car ferry to the other side of Lake Como to Cadenabbia (EUR12 for a car and 2 adults), and drove back to Lugano via Cernobbio (S340).

Ending miles = 400.

Day 3 (Sun, 5/30) Drive to Rapallo, IT
With the top down the whole way, took the autostrada (A2/9/7/12) straight to Rapallo, past Milan and Genoa. Lots of straight, flat driving, cruising between 80 to 100mph, which is nothing compared to Ferraris and 911s that would fly by.

Arrived at the hotel (Excelsior Palace) around 3:00pm. Dropped off luggage then drove the short distance to Portofino for the rest of the afternoon and dinner. Parked in a multi-story garage that would be suitable for Minis, and felt tight for a 330, especially those narrow circular ramps.

Total tolls = EUR11.80, ending miles = 548.

Day 4 (Mon, 5/31) Day trip to Cinque Terre
Second gas fill-up in Rapallo (44.3 liters, EUR50.00). Cloudy and drizzly weather prevented top-down driving today. Arrived in Monterroso al Mare, and parked on the roadway on the old side of town. If I didn't follow the Nav and drove to the new part of town, I would've found lots of spaces in the town's large parking lot. After a couple of hours in Monterroso, decided to drive to the next town, Vernazza, about 8 miles via a narrow, twisty road. It would've been better to take the train or boat (or hike the Cinque Terre trail), as the last 4 miles to Vernazza was essentially a one-lane road with limited turnouts. Add rain and fog, and this was one scary ride. Makes the road to Hana (in Maui) seem like a boulevard. Returned to Rapallo around 6pm.

Total tolls = EUR7.20, ending miles = 662.

Day 5 (Tue, 6/1) Drive to Venice
Took the autostrada (A12/15/1/13/4) straight to Venice, left around noon, again cloudy and drizzly weather. More straight, flat driving. On A15 before Parma, I tried to keep up with an E60 Touring diesel (530d). Even at 100mph, I was too slow and it sped away from me.

Third gas fill-up near Bologna (54.4L, EUR64.23). Arrived at the hotel (Sta. Chiara Hotel) around 4:00pm. I would've preferred another hotel, but this one had its own small parking lot, the only selling point for this hotel. However, I had to leave the key with the front desk, and noticed they moved it once. :eek:

Total tolls = EUR28.00, ending miles = 927.

Day 6 (Wed, 6/2) Tour Venice
Toured Venice all day, the only day of rest for the car.

Day 7 (Thu, 6/3) Drive to Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, DE
Took the autostrada (A4/22/13/12) back to Germany, left the hotel around noon, top-down weather (sunny and 70s). More straight, flat driving but with more trucks on the road. Fourth gas fill-up near Bolzano (49.5L, EUR58.00).

By the time we got to Brenner Pass at the Austrian border, it was overcast and cool. Then it started to rain near Innsbruck. On highway B189 (near the town of Obsteig, AT), the car was officially broken-in (1,200 miles) :rofl: . Arrived at the hotel (Hotel Muller) around 6:00pm, then drove around Fussen and Schwangau.

Total tolls = EUR26.40, ending miles = 1,252.

Day 8 (Fri, 6/4) Drive to Munich
The hotel arranged our 9:15am tour of Neuschwanstein Castle. Returned to hotel to retrieve luggage and check-out around 10:30am. Some road construction outside of Schwangau caused us to re-route through some local (non-digitized) roads. I ignored the Nav and decided to follow road signs back to Munich. I wanted to jump on the A95 in Starnberg, but missed it and ended up in local, suburban streets. The Nav seemed to be confused too. So I stopped at an information booth and bought a Munich map. By this time, I missed the 1:15 factory tour, so we went to the Renaissance Hotel and checked in. Spent the rest of the afternoon driving to Dachau and the 1972 Olympic site. Finally hit 110-120mph on A99. :D

Ending miles = 1,343.

Day 9 (Sat, 6/5) Last Day trip and Drop-off
Took the A8 to the Romantic Road. Final gas stop near Dasing, added only half-tank (34.2L, EUR40.00). Followed the RR (highway B2) to Nordlingen, a medieval walled town. Returned to Munich via A7 and A8, hitting 110+mph (up to 130) in some stretches. I thought 330s were limited to 128, so the speedometer must be off.

Returned to the Renaissance to empty the first aid kit and warning triangle. Drove to EH Harms, took pictures and left the car around 7pm :cry: . Miles at drop-off = 1,617.

Noticed in the fields behind EH Harms were new BMWs, many covered in white sheets. The BMW building nearby must be some sort of finishing/shipping facility.

With front license plate in hand, walked to the U6 Garching-Hochbruck station, about 20-25 minutes away, and took the metro back to the hotel.

Day 10 (Sun, 6/6) Return to SFO
Took a taxi from the Renaissance to the airport. At 5:30am, traffic was non-existent and the E-class diesel got us to the airport in 25 minutes. Of course, the taxi was doing 160kph on the autobahn. Cab fare was around EUR45.

Thanks to all 'festers for your tips/suggestions :thumbup: . I'd also like to thank the govt's of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria for the perfect highways and letting me drive at speeds that would cause me to lose my license here.

Based on a recent e-mail from EH Harms, the car should be loaded today (6/14) on HUAL TRITON, eta 7/13 in Pt. Hueneme.
 

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Sounds like you had a great trip. Finally someone else that actually drove base the breakin point. I am proud of you.

Weird you had to leave your car keys with the hotel. I have heard of leaving your room key, but to the key to your car? Brave soul :fruit:
 

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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cy in NC said:
Sounds like you had a great trip. Finally someone else that actually drove base the breakin point. I am proud of you.

Weird you had to leave your car keys with the hotel. I have heard of leaving your room key, but to the key to your car? Brave soul :fruit:
Unfortunately, the break-in point came at the end of the trip...at least I now know the softtop will still stay on even at 130mph.

When the hotel "rearranged" the parked cars once, I checked to make sure there were no dents or scratches.

I heard that some of the parking lots in Venice (P. le Roma, or Tronchetto) also require valet parking. Plus, they're pricey...at least parking was included in the hotel rate.
 

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weissbiermeister
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Glad you had a good trip ger3! Reading it brought back my memories of Munich, Como, and Rapallo/SM Liguria. I can picture the drive through the Brenner pass and Innsbruck sooo clearly, the scenery is just unbelievable!

What was your favorite place?

I am surprised that your Autostrada tolls from Milan to Rapallo were only E11.2!
Ours were more like E22. Did you do some back road driving?
 

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Look like you had a lot of fun and sure put in the milles. :D I also drove for 10 days but only managed to put in 1,100 miles. I also drove through Austria to get to Venice and also spent 1 day in Rapallo, so your travelogue also bring memories back.

I just researched the location of the Hotel Sta. Chiara in Venice. I did not realize you could stay at Piazzela Roma and park your car at the hotel and not at Tronchetto. I stayed in Lido so I could keep the car parked at the hotel.
 

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Sounds like a great trip and a lot of fun. Thanks for the log and congrats on the car.
By the way, you got the exchange rate wrong. 1USD is roughly 0.8 EURO and so 1EURO is roughly 1.2USD. In other words, if something costs 100EURO it translates to 120USD.
 

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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
emdreiSMG said:
Glad you had a good trip ger3! Reading it brought back my memories of Munich, Como, and Rapallo/SM Liguria. I can picture the drive through the Brenner pass and Innsbruck sooo clearly, the scenery is just unbelievable!

What was your favorite place?

I am surprised that your Autostrada tolls from Milan to Rapallo were only E11.2!
Ours were more like E22. Did you do some back road driving?
The toll for the Lugano-Rapallo segment on day 3 was E11.80, unless I missed a toll somewhere...putting this trip log together was like compiling an expense report...I sometimes miss a few $ here and there.

My favorite segment would probably be the drive to Bellagio...so scenic and charming. Plus, the villas around this lake (and the other lakes, I'm sure) are spectacular. I'd love to try staying at Hotel Serbelloni next time.

Wish I could add some pics...my files are in .jpg at 1280x960, and there is a limit of 1024x800.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LDV330i said:
Look like you had a lot of fun and sure put in the milles. :D I also drove for 10 days but only managed to put in 1,100 miles. I also drove through Austria to get to Venice and also spent 1 day in Rapallo, so your travelogue also bring memories back.

I just researched the location of the Hotel Sta. Chiara in Venice. I did not realize you could stay at Piazzela Roma and park your car at the hotel and not at Tronchetto. I stayed in Lido so I could keep the car parked at the hotel.
Santa Chiara Hotel bills itself as the only hotel in Venice with a parking lot. It's true, but rather small...probably would fit 10-12 cars. If every guest room had a car, I wonder how they would handle it (first come, first served?). :dunno:

Since this hotel is at P.Roma and directly across the Grand Canal to the train station, the hotel location also minimizes luggage schlepping for those arriving by bus or train.
 

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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wallenrod said:
Sounds like a great trip and a lot of fun. Thanks for the log and congrats on the car.
By the way, you got the exchange rate wrong. 1USD is roughly 0.8 EURO and so 1EURO is roughly 1.2USD. In other words, if something costs 100EURO it translates to 120USD.
Good catch...1EUR=about 1.2USD...I wish I went when it was the other way around.
 

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Cy in NC said:
Sounds like you had a great trip. Finally someone else that actually drove base the breakin point. I am proud of you.

Weird you had to leave your car keys with the hotel. I have heard of leaving your room key, but to the key to your car? Brave soul :fruit:
ha, we drove 2000 miles on the M3 while there. Even had it serviced there (1200 miles)
 

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ger3sf said:
Unfortunately, the break-in point came at the end of the trip...at least I now know the softtop will still stay on even at 130mph.

When the hotel "rearranged" the parked cars once, I checked to make sure there were no dents or scratches.

I heard that some of the parking lots in Venice (P. le Roma, or Tronchetto) also require valet parking. Plus, they're pricey...at least parking was included in the hotel rate.
Tronchetto is not valet parking. You park it, and you get to keep the key. It is pricey but what isn't around venice ?
 

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In Driving Heaven
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ger3sf said:
Good catch...1EUR=about 1.2USD...I wish I went when it was the other way around.
That was a couple of years ago. :rofl: We all wish it was that way. :(
 

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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Lake Como and Bellagio

1 = On the road from Como to Bellagio, with Lk Como on the left.
2, 3, 4 = Bellagio
5 = On the car ferry from Bellagio to Cadenabbia
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And finally...

Left to right...
1. Portofino
2. Monterroso al Mare (taken part way along the Cinque Terre trail): "new" town in the background, "old" town in the foreground
3. Vernazza
4. In front of Hotel Muller (Hohenschwangau) with Neuschwanstein castle in the background
5. On the road outside Hohenschwangau (I've seen other pics with this church, so I just wanted to add mine).
 

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iLike iDrive
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ger3sf said:
Santa Chiara Hotel bills itself as the only hotel in Venice with a parking lot. It's true, but rather small...probably would fit 10-12 cars. If every guest room had a car, I wonder how they would handle it (first come, first served?). :dunno:

Since this hotel is at P.Roma and directly across the Grand Canal to the train station, the hotel location also minimizes luggage schlepping for those arriving by bus or train.
And here's the parking lot next to the hotel...about 8 cars can park on the left and maybe another 4 on the right. The Grand Canal is beyond the fence (the tall building in the back is on the other side of the GC).
 

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weissbiermeister
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HA, so funny. I can see the cafes where we ate in Bellagio and Portofino in YOUR pictures. I didn't take any of them myself.
Again, glad you had a great time in some of the same spots we visited!
 
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